The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Men’s basketball gets revenge against Boston in overtime thriller

Captain Leo O’Boyle was joined by his parents in a Senior Day celebration before scoring 17 points. (Photo by Rick Smith for GoLeopards)

The men’s basketball team (19-9 overall, 8-7 Patriot League) moved up the Patriot League standings and inched closer to securing home-court advantage in the Patriot League tournament after an exhilarating 69-65 overtime win against the Boston University Terriers (15-12 overall, 9-5 Patriot League) on Saturday.

It was an afternoon of sweet revenge in Kirby Sports Center as Boston beat the Leopards in overtime on Jan. 5, the last time the two teams met. Since then, Lafayette has won seven contests and lost four, reversing its slow start to the season.

With the win over the Terriers on Saturday, Lafayette currently sits in fifth place in the Patriot League. The Leopards won’t want to drop much lower than that, as the top six teams earn a first-round bye in the Patriot League tournament, with the top four earning home playoff games.

“We knew it was a big game in the standings, and we felt like we owed them one after they beat us in overtime up in Boston,” sophomore guard and captain CJ Fulton said.

Fulton led the way for the Leopards, scoring 20 points.

“The win is the most important thing, but it felt nice to match my career high,” the Belfast, Ireland native said. “I got some good looks early, and then was able to knock down my free throws at the end.”

Senior forward and captain Leo O’Boyle had 17 points on the afternoon, while junior forward Kyle Jenkins had 11.

Despite going into halftime up 33-27, Lafayette felt the pressure from the visitors in the first half. Boston had a field goal percentage of 47.83% in the first quarter, along with a three-point percentage of 50%, both of which were better than the Leopards. 

The Terriers continued to rally in the second half and remained just behind Lafayette for the majority of the game. With just 0.7 seconds left in regulation, Boston scored a layup to tie things up at 57. 

However, the Leopards outperformed their opponent in overtime. Jenkins played a crucial role, scoring half of the team’s 12 overtime points. Fulton scored both of his free throws with two seconds remaining, extending the lead to four and putting the game to bed.

“I think we showed a lot of resilience, especially in overtime,” Fulton said. “It was a back-and-forth game, but we were able to execute down the stretch and get the win.”

The team will review some fundamental defensive concepts in order to prevent games from remaining so close in the future. 

“We missed a few assignments and made a few mistakes defensively, which meant we could never really stretch the lead out,” Fulton said. 

The win was a nice way to cap off Senior Day for O’Boyle, Fulton added.

As the team’s lone senior, O’Boyle was joined by his parents in a Senior Day celebration before tip-off.

Named to the 2019-2020 Patriot League All-Rookie Team, the Scranton, Pa. native has been an elite sharpshooter since he arrived on College Hill. With at least five games left to play, O’Boyle is just 50 points away from 1,000 career points.

His 89 rebounds, 46 assists, 10 blocks and 25 steals, paired with his impressive field goal, three-point and free throw percentages, have eclipsed each of his past-season totals.

The Leopards hope that such impressive individual performances will propel them further up the Patriot League standings, which is currently dominated by Colgate, who has already clinched its fourth regular-season title in as many seasons with a 13-1 Patriot League record.

“We are focusing on our performance in each game, but we’re also paying close attention to the standings,” Fulton said. “We know that if we close the season out strong we can put ourselves in a good position for the playoffs, and hopefully get a home playoff game.”

Next up for the Leopards is an away game against Army tomorrow at 6 p.m. before their final two regular season games the following week.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Eric Ponieman
Eric Ponieman, Assistant Sports Editor
Roll Pards!

Comments (0)

If you wish for your response to an article to be submitted as a letter to the editor, please email [email protected].
All Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *